Dear readers: Toll-free hotlines are free and a fast, reliable way to get help and answers. Here is a list of toll-free telephone numbers for answers related to energy.
Other helpful numbers listed below include topics on the environment, indoor air quality, transportation and others. Clip this list and keep it handy for future reference.
Building Energy Standards: (800) 270-2633 - Pacific Northwest Laboratory information on building energy codes and standards.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC): (800) 523-2929 - General information on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
Energy Hotline: (800) 962-9731 - Washington State Energy Office Advice, quick answers, and free publications about energy efficiency in the home including, moisture problems, woodstoves, insulation, weatherization, and others.
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission: (800) 562-6150 - Answers questions about the utility rate heating process to encourage involvement as an information participant.
Woodcutting Permit: (800) 527-3305 - (Washington Department of Natural Resources) Callers are directed to the appropriate regional office for their permit.
Drinking Water Hotline: (800) 426-4791 - Environmental Protection Agency clarifications on water quality standards. Explains EPA’s regulatory authority. Provides updates to regulations.
Hazardous Substance Information Line: (800) 633-7585 - Washington Department of Ecology general information and assistance for hazardous substances, community right to know, and SARA Title III. Referral to regional offices to obtain regulatory information on specific substances or to report environmental contamination concerns.
Pesticide Hotline: (800) 858-7378 - Texas Technical University for Environmental Protection Agency provides assistance with recognizing and managing pesticide poisoning, toxicological reviews, safety and health effects information, cleaning and disposal recommendations.
Recycling Hotline: (800) 732-9253 - Washington Department of Ecology with information about what, where and how to recycle disposable materials including common hazardous substances, e.g., paint and motor oil. Alternatives to disposal of yard waste without burning.
Underground Storage Tanks Information Hotline: (800) 826-7716 - Washington Department of Ecology general information and permit applications forms upon request. Assistance in completing permit renewal forms.
Wood Smoke and Outdoor Burning Information: (800) 523-4636 - Washington Department of Ecology factsheets and information about the regulations on wood smoke and outdoor burning are sent upon request.
Indoor air quality
American Lung Association: (800) 732-9339 - Factsheets about health effects on the human lung of various pollutants, particulates and carcinogens. Referrals to health specialists and legislative networks.
Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse: (800) 438-4318 Environmental Protection Agency Technical assistance, advice, and publications for indoor air quality questions.
Air Quality Program Public Outreach: (800) 272-3780 - Washington Department of Ecology motor vehicle emission inspections; locations, costs, procedures, repair waivers. Licensing outof-state vehicles; procedures for compliance with regulations. Questions or complaints about gasoline vapor-control nozzles or industrial source pollutants.
Alternate Fuels Hotline: (800) 423-1363 - U.S. Department of Energy availability and performance of alternative fuels. General introductory information and quarterly newsletter available upon request. Information about how to convert vehicles.
Consumer Product Safety: (800) 638-2772 - Consumer Product Safety Commission information about indoor air quality or health effects of specific products. Accepts reports of product related injury or a hazardous product. Product recall information.
Energy Ideas Clearinghouse: (800) 872-3568 - Washington State Energy Office technical information service to commercial and industrial facilities to become more energy-efficient.
Julie Nakao contributed to the writing of this column.
Send your questions to Washington State Energy Office Education and Information Network, 1212 N. Washington, Room 106, Spokane, WA 99201-2401; or call 324-7980 or (800) 962-9731, weekdays.